Home Sports FIVB U-17 Championships: Beach volleyball contingent departs for Mexico without coach

FIVB U-17 Championships: Beach volleyball contingent departs for Mexico without coach


ABUJA –  A five-man contingent of the national male and female beach volleyball teams on Monday left Abuja in Nigeria for Acapulco in Mexico without a coach in their midst.

The contingent, which left with two male players, two female players and one official, was going to participate in the FIVB U-17 Beach Volleyball World Championships.

The Chairman, Beach Volleyball Commission of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Musa Nimrod, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the development was as a result of inadequate funding.

He told NAN, before the contingent left for the airport that the coach, Chakuma Ismail, had to be out of the contingent due to non-availability of money.

Ismail coaches both the national male and female teams, and each team has two players each.

“I will be leading the five-man delegation, which has the four players — Peters Ibrahim, Ogunshina Obayemi, Jummai Bitrus and Hajara Audu.

“The coach will not be able to go with us because of funding. A ticket for one person costs almost N600,000 and the federation could not pay for more than four people.

“I had to pay for my own ticket from my pocket,’’ Nimrod said.

Nigeria will join Sierra Leone and Congo Brazzaville in hoisting Africa’s flag at the inaugural FIVB U-17 Beach Volleyball Male and Female World Championships.

The championships are scheduled to hold from Tuesday, July 15 to Sunday, July 20.

The beach volleyball commission chairman however expressed optimism that the teams are in good shape to make Nigeria and Africa proud.

“The arrival for the competition is tomorrow (Tuesday) and we are set to go to Mexico now (Monday afternoon).

“But we have been able to keep the players in camp for a while now and they are presently in good shape to go and compete.

“We have done the best we can do for the team and I am sure that the Nigerian character is in the players. We are hard fighters and the players are young.

“I am assuring you that it is not going to be an easy task for the South Americans or the Europeans, though they are good in beach volleyball,’’ Nimrod said.

He however said he was not going to set a target for the teams, adding that he was confident that the teams would perform well enough to reach the quarter-finals stage.[eap_ad_2] 

“I do not want to set a target for the teams now, because it is the first edition of the championships. But I see them going farther than the first round.

“And once they get through that stage, I am assuring that we are going to qualify for the quarter-finals.

“So, I have confidence in them because I am sure that their coach has trained them well.

“ Although the female team are more experienced than the male team, the male team is young and this can give them an edge.

 “The experience of the female team will give them a boost also,’’ Nimrod said.

One of the female players, Jummai Bitrus, said the team was prepared to shock the world in spite of the short camping they had.

“We are prepared for the championships, in spite of the short time we had in camp. We did not spend up to a week in camp. However, with the team’s experience, we are prepared to face our opponents.

“The only thing we need is prayers from Nigerians, because it is not a small tournament. We are going to face people that have trained harder than us.

“We are not agitating for money or any material thing as a form of motivation. Instead, we are begging for prayers. After that, any other thing can follow,’’ she said.

Bitrus added that though the team’s target was to be among the first three teams at the championship, she has an individual target of being the best player at the championship.

“We are targeting to be among the top four teams at the championship, but my individual target is to be the best player out there.

“I want to come back with an award just like I did at the 2014 African Youth Games (AYG) in Gaborone, Botswana in May as the best player in the volleyball event ,’’ she said.(NAN)[eap_ad_3]

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